I’m considering the purchase of a Wenonah rendezvous which would be mostly used on a lake or a slow flowing river. I notice it is billed as having some amount of rocker and it has a promotional video on youtube in fast water. Do people have experience with this boat and will it serve the flat water purpose or should I look for another canoe? Thanks
What Dana Henry is doing
in the Rendezvous is way beyond the skill set of most paddlers.
The boat is NOT a playboat but you are seeing it in the hands of one of the most skilled paddlers out there who is doing amazing things under flood conditions, which for most would be incredibly foolhardy.
The Rendezvous is a fine ended boat meant for mildly moving water without huge haystacks and flatwater paddling where maneuvaribility is desired.
One of the best things that you can do is go to the pnet archives. Use Wenonah Rendezvous as the subject of the search, and search all forums.
You will be able to view about 250 reponses from pnet paddlers, and Rendezvous owners, to requested information about the Wenonah Rendezvous, comparisons to other canoe models, outfitting a Rendezvous, layup comparisons,seat positioning, usages, etc.
I'd be really surprised if anyone can tell you anything more than what's covered in the archive.
Has to be a couple of hours of reading there.
Read it all; you'll become a guru of esoteric Rendezvous knowledge.
I owned a Rendezvous; I sold it.
OK for flatwater, OK for some lower levels of whitewater; BUT not "the cat's meow" for either one, in my non Rendezvous guru opinion.
I think quite a few people choose that canoe, thinking it will be "the answer" in their quest for an every paddling venue canoe. I don't believe it is. Don't believe such a canoe exists.
The Rendezvous is a fairly deep boat with more rocker than most all other Wenonah designs (except the Recon). It has sharp lines at the point of water entry, however, and has fairly decent hull speed, though no speed demon.
It is a fine river boat and can also accommodate a large load. It would not be my first choice if you anticipate a lot of lake paddling, though. The rocker would not bother me but the relatively high sides would tend to catch quite a bit of wind.
I have experience here…
In a down stream current the Rendezvous will be fun but when the current stops you will need an energy sucking J-stroke or even a C-stroke to track that boat.
IMO The Rendezvous is NOT a flatwater boat.
Moving water, it can be fun. Relying on YOU to do all the work in moving it, the Rendezvous is not so fun. Look for a Prism or even a Vagabond instead.
It can be used with sit and switch paddling though its a bit of a reach for a smaller paddler to get a vertical plant.
Its a good boat to practice sit and switch in. That 2.5 inch of rocker trains you pretty fast if you are so inclined to learn.
But I have an Argosy (different rocker) and I use sit and switch in it and also a WildFire which is similarly rockered to Rendezvous. Of course all the strokes get used…including the J and C on startup.
thanks for all the responses. I’m hearing what I suspected. I’ll continue looking (for a used kevlar boat under $1K).
You think a Vagabond is faster than
a Rendezvous? I doubt there’s much difference at all. The Rendezvous I tried was a much faster flatwater boat than my Mad River Guide Solo. But the Rendezvous couldn’t turn well enough to do basic whitewater technical moves.
Looks like you made up your mind. For what it’s worth, I have two Rendezvous…one in royalex, one in kevlar. I’ve had the Royalex for several years, and have loved it. So much so, that I sold my Prism to buy a kevlar with the specific purpose of using the kevlar rendezvous for flatwater paddling…and quiet rivers. I have a Cooke Custom cover, that fits both, to help in a wind. The royalex has an adjustable hanging seat, which i prefer; the kevlar has a tractor seat. I usually kneel in both, although it is not quite as comfortable with the tractor seat.
Having said I love them both doesn’t mean there aren’t limitations…somehwat as described in the earlier replies. The rendezvous does have a tipping point. I can’t imagine leaning it to the rail, as someone has suggested is possible. There is a belly to this boat, and once you lean to the midpoint or further of the belly, you’re swimming. For this reason, I have found the boat somewhat unreliable in Class II plus and over whitewater. At least that’s what I’ve found.
So…I recently bought a Nova Craft Supernova expecting it to be more predictable and seaworthy in Class II+ and, possibly Class IIIs. I haven’t paddled it enough, and haven’t outfitted it the way I wish…so I can’t say for sure, but I’m quite sure it will be better in faster and whitewater than the rendezvous. I have been paddling the SuperNova all this season so far…to get adapated to it…but this weekend, I missed my royalex Rendezvous. I pulled her out of the garage, and although I couldn’t go paddling this weekend, next time I paddle, I’m taking one of my rendezvous.
I anticipate keeping all three…a luxury, I’m sure, although I bought the two rendezvous used. It’s like many have said, there is not one canoe that meets all criteria.
Some other points: I don’t think the Rendezous is slow at all. And while I now consider my Kevlar Rendezvous my flatwater and lake canoe, I don’t think the Supernova is as suitable for that.
Also, as your paddling skills improve, you will like the Rendezvous much more. With minimal or beginning paddling skills, I got wet a lot in the Rendezvous. I’m a half way decent paddler now, having gone through ACA certification…and as I improved, I enjoyed the Rendezvous more and more. However, as i progressed to more serious whitewater, I realized I wanted something more reliable in those conditions.
Good luck in your choice.
not ‘faster’, more practical
My experience with both designs is that the Rendezvous is more specialized (bigger paddlers and moving water), while the Vagabond is more general in concept (better with medium-sized paddlers, with better flat water tracking).
Were I to look for a dedicated moving water boat, no question I'd take a Rendezvous over a Vagabond, but if you need a swiss army knife Royalex solo, the Vagabond is not a bad choice. Dedicated flatwater, I'd save up some money and look for a composite Prism.
composite boat would be ok
a Rendezvouz in kevlar or flexcore would be fine as a combination lake/river boat - you’d give up a little performance on lakes, but pick it back up on moving water (as compared to a non-rockered lake boat)- so if you are looking at a 50/50 use lake/river it would be a good choice
the royalex hull is slower and more work for lakes - blunter bow and significant weight penalty make it quite a bit more work and I wouldn’t recommend it for a lake boat